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Mega Vitamins and Minerals: What You and Your Purveyor Should Know

With the advent of mega vitamin therapies, in the 1970′, the US government attempted to apply controls such as requiring prescriptions from physicians and veterinarians for dispensing these mega nutritional quantities.  Because these gram amounts of supplements acted as pharmaceuticals, they thought it best to control them as such.  Well, this got nowhere fast, the lobbyists shot it down in a hurry. My first inclination was to agree with the vitamin/mineral industry, who had millions of dollars invested in their companies and would necessitate having to make massive changes and adjustments.  In time, after reviewing some of my experiences with vitamin/mineral purveyors,  I had to reconsider my previous thoughts about the negatives for the vitamin/mineral purveyors. The clinical studies with mega vitamins/minerals have been accomplished by health professionals, nutritionists , physicians, and veterinarians.  These professionals have the necessary knowledge of diseases processes, pathology, physiology, and pharmacology, without which it would be impossible to accomplish.  With the published studies, of these professionals, vitamin purveyors employ these studies for the purpose of selling their products.  Many supplement entrepreneurs have little or no knowledge of disease processes as previously mentioned, and this lack of knowledge can be catastrophic. I can recall an instance some time ago when I published my clinical results on the prevention and control of feline leukemia (FeLV) incorporating Mega C Plus, a combination of twenty three vitamins, minerals, and trace minerals.  Shortly there after a vitamin purveyor began offering vitamin A, for the prevention and control of the disease.  It was recommended administering beta-carotene, a source for vitamin A (pro-vitamin). Felines cannot convert beta-carotene into vitamin A they do not have the necessary enzymes to accomplish the transition.  This is a perfect example of a lack of knowledge,  physiology and pharmacology.  There are those who lack knowledge of fat soluble and water soluble vitamins, which forms of calcium are best for mammals, which vitamins and minerals are compatible.  I chuckle when I view supplements labels at pharmacies with the combination of ferrous sulfate, a source for iron, together with d-alpha tocopherol (vitamin E); ferrous sulfate has an inhibitory effect on vitamin E, a classic example of incompatibility. My view on controls for mega vitamin/mineral are not quite extreme as the US government, dispensing these supplements via prescriptions, but rather mandating a requirement for the purveyors, to have training  and knowledge for the specific purpose and use of the mega supplements.  Mega vitamin/mineral protocols are serious business, please be careful, seek as much information as possible before administering them to your pets.

Orthomolecular Medicine In Veterinary Practice

Orthomolecular Medicine, a comparatively recent aspect of medicine and veterinary medicine is dedicated to the prevention, treatment, and control of diseases at their source by administering natural nutritional protocols.

PREVENTION: Orthomolecular veterinarians’ approach via prevention begins with the pregnant canine and feline by administering nutritional protocols to optimize a good pregnancy and to stimulate good antibody production to be passed on to their progeny. Optimization of good antibody production in the newborn is essential now that its on its outside the mother’s womb will fight off the challenges of its new environment, and the protocol will aid in good physical development.

The Twentieth Century ushered in a revolution in pharmaceuticals that offered “quick fixes” via symptomatic treatment of diseases. Though these drugs offered relief from the symptoms of diseases, they did not eliminate the sources of the problem. This being the case, meant a life of administering drugs to minimize or prevent the symptoms of the disease.

Treatment and Control: Theses are best demonstrated by an Orthomolecular approach to two common diseases: Inflammatory Bowel Disease and allergies. Inflammatory Bowel Disease(IBD) is a debilitating disease manifested by chronic diarrhea and sometimes associated vomiting. The conventional approach is administering steroids, antibiotics, anti-diarrheals, probioctics and elimination diets. It has been proven that this condition is an allergy initiated by an allergen present in the food being consumed. These allergens cause severe damage to the intestinal wall which in turn causes the persistent diarrhea. The Orthomolecular approach is to heal the damaged tissues that was created by the allergen which brought about the chemical action of oxidation. Those antioxidants that functions best in the intestinal tract are administered and within an average of two months, the symptoms are abated. Since the condition occurred because of an immune deficiency, it is necessary to administer a nutritional protocol to improve immune function to prevent relapses.

ALLERGIES: Allergies are probably the most common malady in veterinary practice, especially skin allergies. Most often caused by external parasites, contact with allergens, and also food allergens. The normal procedure for skin allergies is to identify the specific allergen via skin testing then providing the appropriate antigen for the patient to tolerate or resist the allergen. This scenario can be repeated indefinitely as new allergens are encountered. The Orthomoleclar approach is simple and direct, optimize immune function by administering those nutritional supplements that works best for the immune system, should the immune system functions optimally, there will be no allergies.

Orthomolecular protocols are most cost effective with no adverse side effects.

So simple and “too good to be true”, extensive clinical research with very positive research incorporating nutritional protocols to treat maladies is being done at Cornell, Colorado State. and Texas A&M Schools of Veterinary Medicine. Theses teaching institutions are validating what I have done forty years ago. I am hopeful that these researchers and educators will include their clinical research in their curricula so that the graduates can bring these findings into their practices to benefit their patients.

How Vitamin C Got Into Veterinary Medicine

Vitamin C, a liver metabolite in dogs and cats, was never considered an essential element for treating diseases other than a deficiency disease such as scurvy. Dr. Wendell Belfield was the first veterinarian to institute vitamins as a therapeutic agent for treating infectious diseases.

Upon release from active duty from the US Air Force in May of 1960, Belfield entered into private Veterinary practice. My specialized area of practice, was endemic for canine distemper, unfortunately I soon found that following the textbook protocol for treatment did not produce healing results for my patients.

Seek and ye shall find”

While doing research at the County hospital medical library I happened upon an article by Dr. Fred Klenner, a South Carolina physician, who developed a successful Polio treatment protocol using vitamin C injections. I wondered if this could also be successful for the treatment of distemper in dogs since polio and distemper are both filterable viruses and dogs, unlike humans, do synthesize vitamin C in their livers.

Since vitamin C treatment for distemper had never been done before and there was no known dosage scale, my first patient's owner was explained the risk and trusted in me with her permission to experiment on her dog. I started with an arbitrary amount of 2000 mg. to infuse intravenously and administered the dosage with no adverse reaction. The following day there was no change, the temperature was still elevated, the lethargy, mucopurulent ocular and nasal discharges were also present. However, there were no neurological symptoms, chorea, twitching of the temporal muscles of the head and no seizures usually observed in the terminal stage of the disease, this was a plus. Day two I administered another two thousand mgs of vitamin C and later in the day I decided to give another 2000 mgs since there was no reaction. Day three the patient displayed improved activity; the temperature had decreased to near normal so we proceeded with two more 2000 mg injections. Day four, temperature dropped into the normal range, increased activity and the dog wanted to eat! A jar of Gerber baby meat was provided and consumed in its entirety. Was the treatment over, the patient seemed to think so. I decided to administer two more infusions of the vitamin before releasing the patient. Patient returned home and lived a normal life.

Happy ending, no; I attempted the same protocol on other patients but some did not live. Over several months of treatment it established that patients of different weights and sizes would require specific quantities of the vitamin and the best time to begin the therapy was determined as not during neurological symptoms.

This was a happy time and thought I should share my clinical experience with my colleagues, and presented a professional paper, on the subject for publication. The publisher was impressed but he did not know how the profession, as a whole, would receive the publication. To soften the blow, to the profession, he did a preface explaining this unorthodox approach for treating canine distemper. The paper was not well received, some of the comments were “how do you know the diagnosis was correct, dogs synthesize their own vitamin C, the solution to this disease can’t be this simple.” And, “ this guy is a quack.” I became the “laughing stock” of the profession; many uncomplimentary words were spoken and written about my treatment protocol for distemper. But what was most frustrating was that there was no better protocol; the conventional textbook approach was not solving the problem so why not give it a try?

Some months later a Veterinarian and former Air Force buddy phoned to say “Your distemper treatment really works; I had a couple cases that responded”. This was good to hear and the news lifted my spirits. My reputation had become so poor I refrained from attending professional meetings and conventions. Be that as it may, in 1995 I received a letter from Mosby, one of the largest publishers of medical, veterinary, dentistry, and nursing textbooks asking that I be a contributing author to a new veterinary textbook, ”Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine” without hesitation, I accepted. It was most gratifying that my work, with nutritional treatment protocols, was being recognized. Today, every veterinary facility has vitamin C in one form or another since it is included in pet foods and supplements, treats, oral care or on their shelves to be administered. I am no longer called a “quack” but rather “a Maverick completely outside the box and years ahead of his time”.

Great Clients

Because of success with my distemper treatment, my clients expected me to solve every malady and encouraged me to, at least, try. It became important for me to live up to their expectations. I have always had a feeling of gratitude and indebtedness for the support of my clients, in that they were willing to trust me with the treatment of their pets using unorthodox, unproven theoretical treatment protocols. To honor these brave people I have dedicated my book “How to Have a Healthier Dog” to them.